21 May
2009

Body-rocking is a rhythmic behaviour commonly seen in childhood. It is a self-comforting activity seen from about the age of 6 months, though it is more common in the toddler age group. The child may rock while sitting, or else while on hands and knees in a semi-crawling position. He will rock back and forth, usually for less than 15 minutes each time, although sometimes for considerably longer. It occurs at any time of the day, though more commonly at bedtime. Sometimes the activity is extremely vigorous, at other times gentle and the child may appear as if in a trance. These behaviours seem more common in retarded children, and those who are institutionalised, although perfectly normal children also rock their bodies.

Body-rocking is always a transient phenomenon, representing that particular phase of the child’s life. It is best ignored and no intervention is necessary.

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